Four Cuban Baseball Players Leave the Island in Just one Weekend

Yulian Quintana, sanctioned in July 2022 to two years without being able to play on the Island for “an unproven exit attempt.” (Capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 31 July 2023 — Four baseball players left Cuba in the last weekend, among them Yulian Quintana, sanctioned in July 2022 to two years without being able to play on the Island for “an unproven attempt to leave the hotel where they were staying in Aguascalientes (Mexico) during the Under-23 World Cup qualification,” according to the journalist Francys Romero reporting at the time.

Quintana, who stood out in that tournament for his speed, is in the Dominican Republic, Romero reported on Saturday, where “he will seek to impact the international market and sign with a Major League organization.”

The journalist, resident in the US and specialized in the flight of athletes, described the athlete as a “pitcher with potential and physique who wore the Huracanes de Mayabeque uniform for three seasons in the National Series. He exceeds 90 miles an hour and has an arsenal with great breaking pitches.”

This Sunday, Romero reported the departure of three more players. The first of them was Marlon Vega, a prospect pitcher who is currently in Mexico but with the goal of signing with the Major Leagues as a free agent.

Until that time arrives, the athlete will pitch as a guest in the Meridian Baseball League, which begins in August in Mexico. His successful career includes milestones such as being the MVP (Most Valuable Player) in the last 2022 National Series, rookie of the year in 2021 and presence in the Cuban team in the main international championships.

“With almost total security, Vega will sign as soon as he finishes his first appearances in Mexico and as soon as he is a free agent. He is a pitcher of abundant quality, resources, speed and repertoire. He knows how to throw on the mound and his pitches have extreme mobility,” said Francys Romero.

Along with him, 16-year-old pitcher Daivel Álvarez de la Torre also left the island.

A few hours later, the departure of prospect pitcher Roger Bolaños, bound for the Dominican Republic, also became known. The 20-year-old athlete who, according to Romero, was already one of the best players in his position in 2020, is the brother of Ronald Bolaños, who has been in the Major Leagues for four seasons and plays with the Miami Marlins in Triple-A.

Romero recalled, when reporting on Bolaños’ departure this Sunday, the words he wrote about him three years ago, when he included him fourth in the list of the 25 best prospects in Cuba under 18. “He surpassed the 90-mile barrier in the last Youth Championship, although he needs work in command and secondary pitching. Roger was Mayabeque’s closer with a 0.61 ERA, 4 saves and an opponent average of .178. The most surprising thing about everything is that: he still has a year left as a youth.”

Of the 25 on that list drawn up in 2020, there are already 13 who have left Cuba, notes Romero, of whom five have already signed contracts, a figure that certifies the deep crisis of Cuban baseball, not only present, but future.


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